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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Update!

First of all, although we are close to shipping, we have not done so by today's date as promised, and I apologize for this and take full responsibility for missing yet another promised deadline. First and foremost, VOLUME #3 and the slipcases WILL SHIP THIS MONTH.


I know it's been frustrating for many of you...as it has also been for me, and I'm sorry for that...I chose to do this project not because I thought it would be easy, but because I knew it would be FUN and exciting for so many of us that thought we'd never see it again. And there really has been no way to tell just how long it would take to finish the materials for Volume 3 in a reasonable manner. It's a curse of being a "one-man band".

So yes, there are physical reasons for this (hopefully final) delay: The factory that manufactures our DVDs was recently sold to a different company, and while we had been reassured that it would not affect our business, the departure of the Account Exec (we've dealt with for 5 years for the factory) just a few weeks ago has changed things...not drastically, but we are working to resolve a few issues. I expect to know more this coming week. This is ONLY causing a SLIGHT delay, so please stick with us and know that I really CAN'T WAIT to put Volume #3 in YOUR hands and hear your FEEDBACK. I am very excited with how the DVDs have turned out and hope you all know that.

Candid shot of Dean Fredericks (left), Ross Martin and Jerry Paris in Steve Canyon Episode #27, "ROOM 313",
 on The Complete Steve Canyon On TV Volume 3.

Since I last reported, my sister has had a total of 7 brain surgeries, and is now finally at home BUT not out of the woods yet, and we are still hoping and praying for the best. Those of you that are friends of mine on Facebook have seen my regular reports on her progress. I appreciate all the kind words we received from you and I have passed them on to Suzy who sends her thanks and holiday greetings. As most of you probably understand, this has taken a certain toll on me personally, which affects other aspects of my life (including V3).

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Please hang tight and stick with us here...it is the 11th hour, and though it's been a long haul, I promise it is nearly done. Keep on reading and at the bottom of this post is where you can hear how you can help with Volume 3 and get something nifty in the process.

Credits Roll For Volume #3
Near the beginning of the minute and a half credit roll for each disc that acknowledges all of the people that have helped this project along the way.
Further down the "crawl"...over 260 names appear in this acknowledgement of and appreciation for the help we've received. One of the reasons it has taken the time it has to finish everything properly is this effort to include everyone and not leave anyone out. These names will also appear in the listings on the Internet Movie Data Base for the documentaries, and note that some of the names listed are also listed elsewhere on the DVDs for specific tasks performed.

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MY ONGOING SHIPPING DILEMMA

As you know we have had free shipping worldwide here on our site since we started issuing the Steve Canyon DVDs in 2007. Since then the domestic and worldwide shipping costs have at least DOUBLED domestically and nearly TRIPLED for overseas addresses. This has hit us hard lately and in an effort to help us ship out Volume #3 we are asking for those that are willing and able to send some cash to help with the shipping of V3.

This is set up so you can write in any amount you wish to donate. Note that it is now OVER $12 for the cheapest USPS shipping of a 7 ounce package to most overseas locations. Canada is over $8 now and the US is about $3.00.

Those that contribute any amount will get a free digital pdf download of the screenplay for the Steve Canyon episode OPERATION INTERCEPT:


This is a scan of Author/Producer David Haft's personal copy with handwritten notes and changes. I will send this out via email following the release of Volume 3 later this month. Maybe sooner.

Click on the button below to help us out with the shipping...and thanks everybody! We really can use your help with this.

(click this button to help)
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Stay tuned for the next update and and I thank you for all your support and patience!

John Ellis
Pacoima, CA

Note that Volume 1, Volume 2 and The Special Edition are available from us on Amazon.com, ebay and our store here.  I package and send each order personally and hope you will note our 100% positive feedback on Amazon and ebay. You can also help by clicking the "like" buttons on our 3 amazon listings and by writing a little review if you have time...which we appreciate very much!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Observing Veteran's Day 2013

Happy Veteran's Day 2013 to those who served and their families.

Sergeant Fred Foote (aka Dean Fredericks, later star of The Steve Canyon TV series) in 1945, recovering from wounds inflicted on him in a firefight that occurred during the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines, October 1944.

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Learn more about Dean Fredericks' life in the documentary DEAN FREDERICK'S - HOLLYWOOD'S STEVE CANYON on The Complete Steve Canyon On TV Volume 3, coming in December! 

John Ellis & Harry Guyton
Milton Caniff Estate Releasing

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Volume 3: Wheels Down And Locked!

Okay, here's the scoop: Volume 3 is coming for Christmas 2013. Out of the factory and packaged and mailing by Saturday December 14th. With the bonus slipcase included. Count on it. That's it. I need to move on, we all need to move on.

We've had delays, some very recent, some "acts of God", some not. All of them maddening to many of us. Especially to me. Most of the reasons I'll talk about here (but down the road...er, runway).

In any event, V3 is as adequate as I can make it...certainly not perfect by a long shot, but adequate is ok. Done is good. And it is as accurate as it is possible at this time...of the tons of material that isn't included, much will be posted here on this site, and (hopefully) in a followup book...if the universe is willing.

My apologies for taking so long...it wasn't the plan, but it is what it is. With the exception of a few of you (less than I can count on the fingers of both hands), the vast majority of you have been kind and supportive, and I appreciate it. Thank you to all of you who have been waiting patiently, you've helped me make it through these long days, and I hope my efforts will have been worth it for you.

Ok, enough of that...now here are some previously unpublished (I believe) pictures of ol' Steve and friends, hope you enjoy them!

Behind the scenes: Episode 31, "The Trap", left to right, Dean Fredericks, Jerry Paris (hanging upside down), Bert Freed, and Director Walter Grauman. That's an inverted F-104 studio mockup!
Behind the scenes: Episode 25, "Iron Curtain", Barbara Beaird reprises her her Christmas episode character in a story set in Vienna, Austria...concerning cold-war terrorism!
Behind the scenes: Episode 11, "Operation Diplomat", Dean Fredericks get's makeup retouched by Mr. Freeman outside of the makeup trailer while one of the heavies looks on.
Production still photo from Episode 34, "Sabotage", left to right, Frank Maxwell, Weaver Levy and James Drury during a tense moment!
Production still photo from Episode 28, "Operation Intercept", Steve's secretary Ingrid Goude teases Jerry Paris offering a date she knows he can't keep!
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Please note that although I intended to post this update earlier in the day today, we have been having internet and phone issues all this week...and my surviving sister Suzy went in the hospital last night for emergency brain surgery...(she fell and hit her head badly, had initial surgery on October 2nd but relapsed last night).  The surgeon today said she must have a lot of friends as she's doing better than he could imagine...so I am extending this to my friends here and appreciate any and all kind thoughts and prayers, they do help. It also helps that she is such a kind and happy person...

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Stay tuned for the next update and and I thank you for your support and patience!

John Ellis
Pacoima, CA

Note that Volume 1, Volume 2 and The Special Edition are available from us on Amazon.com, ebay and our store here.  I package and send each order personally and hope you will note our 100% positive feedback on Amazon and ebay. You can also help by clicking the "like" buttons on our 3 amazon listings and by writing a little review if you have time...which we appreciate very much!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

V3 Update Coming This Weekend!

Stay tuned for an important announcement this weekend!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

While I'm still finishing the last few bits and pieces of Steve Canyon Volume 3, here's some words and images in observance of this year's Memorial Day:


Robert Francis Hoy, United States Marine Corps during WWII. Photo courtesy of Ginny Shook and https://www.facebook.com/groups/thehighchaparral and http://www.bobhoy.com

Bobby Hoy was a great guy, and thanks to his friend Ginny Shook, I had the great pleasure to get to know him the year before he passed away in 2010, and got the opportunity to share him and his great audio commentaries on 5 episodes of Steve Canyon on DVD Volume 2.
Joyce Taylor played Bob Hoy's wife "Betty Berger" in the 20th aired episode of Steve Canyon on NBC,  February 5th 1959
 Bob played Sergeant Pete Berger in three episodes of Steve Canyon...it didn't take much convincing to get him to hang around and contribute comments on two other episodes he wasn't in, but his longtime buddy Abel Fernandez was. In fact Abel welcomed it, understand, as they were like a lifelong comedy team...just listen to them together and you'll see what I mean, Abel the straight man and Bobby zinging. It was a treat to listen to both of them.

Series regulars Abel Fernandez, Jerry Paris and Bob Hoy in a humorous moment in the Steve canyon episode "The Search", the 17th episode aired on NBC, January 15, 1959
These guys were both actors as well as stuntmen...and for many years. Gene Reynolds (casting director on Steve canyon, and later co-creator of TV's M.A.S.H.) told Bobby "You don't need to do a screen test, you're IN...anybody tells you anything different...INCLUDING executive producer Mike Meshekoff...throw the script in their face and tell 'em to talk to ME!" I sure miss Bobby...


Photo of Abel Fernandez taken in the 1970's by Bob Hoy!
Abel Fernandez also served in WWII in the US Army Airborne, as a paratrooper. Both he and Bobby had to learn Japanese too...I know this as they started talking in Japanese at one point (and I think they were making fun of me!).
Polaroid of Abel Fernandez and Bob Hoy that I snapped here in my studio in 2009 (during one of the recording sessions for their commentary tracks for Steve Canyon On TV Volume 2).
Some of you may have noticed that each disc on each volume of Steve Canyon On DVD has an "In Memorium" page...our upcoming Volume 3 Disc 1 is in memory of Robert Francis Hoy 1927 - 2010... 


Abel and Josephine Fernandez circa the 1990's

...and Volume 2 Disc 2 is in memory of Josephine Miller Fernandez 1928 - 2009...

Abel still loves skydiving and even got Josie involved in the 90's (can you believe it?). She was a real trooper who sang like an angel and was as sweet as can be...and she is missed.
Abel Fernandez steps out!

Abel and I attended Walter Grauman's 90th Birthday event at UCLA last year, they showed two films that Wally directed. the original unaired pilot to THE FUGITIVE...and one of his UNTOUCHABLES episodes, "Noise Of Death", which featured Jerry Paris and Abel Fernandez, both of whom had been in episodes of Steve Canyon that he had directed a year earlier!

Abel Fernandez and Walter Grauman reunite at Walter's 90th Birthday event at UCLA, March 23, 2012.
Photo courtesy of Chris Soldo.
It was great getting to listen to their comments and to see them together again after so many years. Walter directed some of the very best Steve Canyon episodes and the series was lucky to have him on board for those seven shows. Only Don Taylor and Lamont Johnson directed more episodes (ten apiece)...and they all contributed to making it the outstanding series that it is!

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Volume 3 is ALMOST finalized and will be out before you know it, we thank you for your patience and please BE SURE you have subscribed to our blog to see every update, you should use the form BELOW. We thank you for your kind support in this unique restoration project, which has taken longer than anyone would have guessed to complete.



Stay tuned for the next update (very soon!) and and I thank you for your support and patience!

John Ellis
Pacoima, CA

PS - Note that Volume 1 is back in stock and available once again (along with Volume 2 and The Special Edition) from us on Amazon.com, ebay and our store here.  I package and send each order personally and hope you will note our 100% positive feedback on Amazon and ebay. You can also help by clicking the "like" buttons on our 3 amazon listings and by writing a little review if you have time...which we appreciate very much!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What's Cookin'?

Update on Volume 3: 

I'm very excited about the recent work that has been done and that we are almost ready to go to the factory. Two MAJOR issues have been overcome in the last month and I am so relieved to be past them I can't tell you. I also had to take a slight break to work on a project with The National Aviation Hall Of Fame and the USAF Museum this month but am back at the office, fully recovered and nearly finished with V3. I am expecting last-minute materials from Ohio State University and University of Wyoming within the next few days that include portions that I need to finish the revised documentaries...then I'm done with them for Volume 3. 

Steve Canyon Volume 3 main menu page for disc 2 (prior to revisions)...it should say "(Episodes 31-34 PLUS Extras)
With the exception of the unaired pilot bonus episode (which I am finishing now) all of the episodes for Vol 3 have been cleaned and gone over as much as I am capable of at this time...each has an average of 37,000 individual frames that I have had to correct mostly by eye and hand and it's been a real ordeal. Think a bit on that number. Now it's true I was ready to let some of it go in the past but my heart just wasn't really into allowing that to happen, so here we are. Soon there will be a BIG fanfare and post here (and elsewhere on the internet AND in email) announcing that V3 is at the factory, AND THEN when it is HERE and then when we start shipping. Until you see the fanfare it hasn't happened yet, so just be patient a wee bit longer. Check further down this post for a link to some more on Volume 3...and here's some more related news!

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There have been a number of articles relating to Steve Canyon in magazines lately...here are a few that may be of interest.

On the Newsstands now:

http://www.syfy.com/magazine/

Sci Fi Magazine has a nice article by Jeff Berkwits on both the Terry And The Pirates 1952 TV series and our very own Steve Canyon 1958 show. Thanks a heap Jeff! Their website is at http://www.syfy.com/magazine

http://www.airforcemag.com/

Air Force Magazine April 2013 just hit the newsstands last week has a whopping 8 color pages on the history of Terry And The Pirates, Steve Canyon and Milt Caniff in an excellent article by John T. Correll. If you can't find it on the stands you can also download a digital (Adobe PDF) copy of the whole magazine or just the article on Milt by visiting their website at http://www.airforcemag.com.
Thanks Russ Maheras for providing the copies of Air Forge Magazine!

http://pilotmag.com/

PilotMag #21 (on stands now) has a 1 1/2 page article on us by our Friend Ron Kaplan of the National Aviation Hall Of Fame. This article by Ron (with different photos and in a different layout) originally appeared in Warbird Digest: 

http://www.warbirddigest.com/

Warbird Digest #44 (Sept/Oct 2012) Has Ron's original article (see below). Click to open in a larger easier to read format).



The author Ron Kaplan is ALSO the Director of the REEL FEST Aviation Film Festivals who have plans for presenting these film festivals all around the USA. I've appeared at two of them, the most recent in Dayton Ohio at the US Air Force Museum where we presented a Steve Canyon episode on their 80 foot wide Imax screen!


The Steve Canyon episode OPERATION DIPLOMAT went over well, but the biggest draw was the two screenings of TOP GUN 3D, which were packed (sold out). I enjoyed the film AND getting to meet Top Gun Pilot and Astronaut Capt. Robert "Hoot" Gibson (who is a BIG Steve Canyon fan!).


These are the only two pictures I have (until they send me a set of their pro publicity images from the event)...but here I am in the museum with the large F-14 Tomcat miniature used in the "flat spin" effects in the movie TOP GUN (1986). It took two grueling weeks of intense effort BUT we finally got the kinks worked out of showing Steve Canyon in Imax and are all set for more events like this down the road. A big thank you to Mary Bruggeman of the Air Force Museum Foundation and to Ron Kaplan for having me once again. Thanks also to my friends Hal Bryan, Matt Tauber and Ted Haycraft for your kindness and for being there.

Matt Tauber and John Ellis in March 2009 at the prior REEL FEST.
Speaking of our pal Matt Tauber, the lad has just posted a nice write-up about my appearance at the USAF Museum (which includes a nice bit of info about Steve Canyon On TV Vol. #3), which you can read by clicking HERE! Matt is a real hero in the Milton Caniff world, his blog always has some new bit of business about Terry And The Pirates, or Steve Canyon, or ol' Milt hisself...be sure to sign up and follow his blog, it's always a treat!


Lastly I should also mention that IDW's Library Of American Comics' astounding archive editions reprinting ALL of the Steve Canyon newspaper strips from the beginning (with color sundays like you've never seen 'em (from Milt's original color syndicate proofs!) are up to...ahem...Volume #3 now (I just got mine in the mail...see image above). They are amazingly swell and a big thanks to Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell for all the hard work on these...Milt would be very happy and proud!

Signing off for now...and please STAND BY for the big announcement coming up in the next post in May.

John Ellis
Pacoima, CA

P.S. Note that I FINALLY have repaired all of the picture (and other) links on this blog that have been messed up since Apple.com withdrew their web support June 30th 2012. If you've been frustrated by missing pictures and such, have no fear, they are all BACK now! Huzzah! AND if you SHOULD find any that I might have missed, please drop me a line.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Col. Canyon Is Alive And Well!

Undoubtedly Captain Dennis (below) has that "thousand yard stare"
that comes from waiting so long for V3...
Wynn Pearce as USAF Capt. Dennis Parker in the midst of a Korean War Flashback while in the air in his F-104 Starfighter in the Steve canyon episode KOREAN STORY.
Contrary to the beliefs of a few naysayers, doubting Thomases and prophets of doom, The Complete Steve Canyon On TV Volume 3 is alive and well and ALMOST "ready for primetime". 


I really appreciate that most of you have been so eager and interested and passionate, and your communiques have been polite and supportive...that really helps speed the process. I already feel a bit like "the boy who cried wolf" here and am well aware that promised deadlines have flown by.  I resisted the pressure to offer Volume 3 pre-orders for quite a while and finally succumbed to said pressure with much trepidation (even though many fans promised to be patient...and most have done just that). It was probably an error in judgement to even set ANY deadlines on such a comprehensive creative project.

Finishing Volume 3 has been my primary focus for the last six years! I work on it constantly, every day, though sometimes I have to address other matters. Corrections, changes and additions to some of the materials have slowed things down as well. On the other hand recent improvements to my health have sped things up considerably too. I want you all to understand that I also NEED TO BE DONE with it and have it released as soon as possible, so you can bet it will be out the moment it is completely finished...and am shooting for it to be done THIS MONTH.

I will say I am VERY EXCITED with the progress and final work on everything and I know you all will be too. It's really terrific and I am proud of the unique content and the quality of the work on it. Just as soon as I turn it over to the factory I will post an update here AND will send out an email IMMEDIATELY to everyone who has purchased from us that is on our NEW mailing list (via MailChimp)...you can subscribe using the form below.

Sorry the progress of volume 3 has seemed so slow. but it will be out soon and there has never been any doubt (on my end) of that...I would hope that 6 years dedication to this project would be a testament to that fact.

Please understand that for the quality and amount of detailed work it is just taking more time than I ever anticipated.  This is a unique project which I am glad to do by myself, however I am wearing lots of hats.  I have never stopped working to provide the best product possible.  I am sure that many of you have done a creative project, or any project, and had the experience of it taking longer than anticipated.

Don't forget, I have not been hired nor paid by anyone to do this.  This is a labor of love that we have supported with our own money.  There has never been ANY doubt in my mind that it WILL be completed.

I am not the kind of person that does anything half-assed or unfinished.  Those that know me personally will tell you that I have always been fully dedicated to what I do and have no choice but to complete what I do to the best of my abilities.



Stay tuned for the next update (very soon!) and and I thank you for your support and patience!

John Ellis
Pacoima, CA

PS - Note that Volume 1 is back in stock and available once again (along with Volume 2 and The Special Edition) from us on Amazon.com, ebay and our store here.  I package and send each order personally and hope you will note our 100% positive feedback on Amazon and ebay. You can also help by clicking the "like" buttons on our 3 amazon listings and by writing a little review if you have time...which we appreciate very much!